“I don’t want to play a character. If I’m going to do something dramatic, I want it to be inspired. I want it to be passionate” – Miles Teller
Miles Teller is fast becoming a household name. From roles in Whiplash and the Divergent franchise, Teller will take it to the next level when he stars as Reed Richards in The Fantastic Four. It seems as though super stardom beckons, but Teller says the differences between big budget blockbusters and small indie movies like Whiplash, aren’t all that huge.
“The difference between the small movies and the big movies is just comfortability,” he says. “When you do a smaller movie, you relinquish any vanity because all the money has to go into making the film. You sit around a bit more in the big films, but the preparation is the same. I just played Reed Richards, and Reed Richards is just as much of a character to me as anything else I’ve done, in terms of how much research I had to do.”
With The Fantastic Four set to hit screens in August of this year, a sequel is already planned. The role of Reed Richards is quite a complex one to tackle, since he appears across all the comics and also, Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox are keen to turn this reboot into a modern day take on the franchise; leaving the characters with their original traits but moving them to a more contemporary setting.
“I tried to ingest as much of the history of the character, while knowing that we weren’t necessarily cementing ourselves to one particular comics storyline,” Teller explains. “If my character’s talking quantum physics or biomechanical engineering, I need to know what those are. Our technical adviser was the smartest dude on set, so I would just be talking to him all the time.”
With two more Divergent films, and the Fantastic Four sequel lined up to be made, Teller is busy for a while at least, though he insists none of it was planned that way.
“I never pick anything based on, ‘oh, this is what’s out there’. I don’t work for the sake of working. Everything that’s come my way has been thought out in terms of what it’s doing. When you’re going to shoot these movies, that is your life. If I’m in Canada for six months and it’s freezing cold, if I next have the choice between a movie that shoots in Hawaii and one that shoots in the Arctic, I’ll probably choose the one that’s warmer. As much as you want to be satisfied artistically and creatively, the market has changed so much, and studios don’t make dramas, and so you want to think of all the different factors when you’re picking out a movie. You just try to be a part of the good ones.”
One of “the good ones” for Teller will hopefully be the upcoming boxing movie, Bleed For This, in which he plays Vinny Pazzienza, a five times world champion boxer. A role like that can seem daunting, but Teller takes it all in his stride:
“I don’t want to play a character. If I’m going to do something dramatic, I want it to be inspired. I want it to be passionate. It gives you a lot to work off of, and I like the challenges of doing an accent or learning a skill, really putting yourself out there. I was so nervous when they offered me this boxing movie, but once you know you’re going to be onscreen as a world-champion boxer, it’s just like, ‘Okay let’s go’. I think in movies, I’m very nervous that I’m not going to be able to do it, but I just trust that the fear of failure will drive me.”